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BUSINESS BRIEFLY

Citigroup, developer settle Carousel Center dispute

SYRACUSE (AP) -- Citigroup Inc. and a Syracuse developer say they've settled a dispute that stalled the expansion of the Carousel Center mall into Destiny USA.

At issue was a decision by Citigroup Global Markets Realty in 2009 to withhold about half of a $155 million loan package they'd agreed to give Destiny USA Holdings for the 1.3 million square foot addition to the mall.

The developer sued the bank, which claimed the project was over budget and failing to attract tenants.

They say the deal announced Friday will provide a fund to pay contractors who worked on the expansion, but released no other terms of the agreement.

Destiny USA says in a joint statement that it intends to pursue completion of the project despite what it called a "challenging financial climate."

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Bank of America suits filed

PHOENIX (AP) -- Attorneys general in Arizona and Nevada filed civil lawsuits Friday against Bank of America Corp., alleging that the lender is misleading and deceiving homeowners who have tried to modify mortgages in two of the nation's most foreclosure-damaged states.

Bank of America violated Arizona's consumer fraud law by misleading consumers who tried to reduce their monthly payments to keep their homes, state Attorney General Terry Goddard said. The bank also violated the terms of a 2009 consent agreement requiring its Countrywide mortgage subsidiary to implement a loan modification program, the Arizona lawsuit alleges.

Hundreds of homeowners kept making their mortgage payments because Bank of America repeatedly assured them that their loans were being modified, Goddard said. Instead, many lost their homes anyway.

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Canadian bank expands

TORONTO (AP) -- The Bank of Montreal is buying a Milwaukee-based bank, the latest example of Canadian banks using their muscle to snap up U.S. financial institutions battered by the financial crisis.

Canada's fourth-largest bank announced Friday that it was acquiring Marshall & Ilsley Corp. for $4.1 billion in stock, doubling its presence in the U.S. from 321 branches to 695.

M&I is headquartered in Milwaukee and has $51.9 billion in assets. The bank has more than 190 offices throughout Wisconsin as well as locations in Indiana, Minnesota and other states for a total of 374 branches.

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GM crossovers recalled

WASHINGTON (AP) -- General Motors Co. is recalling about 100,000 crossover vehicles to fix seat belts that could fail in a crash.

GM said Friday in a posting with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that the recall involves 2011 model year versions of the Cadillac SRX, Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain. The automaker said the seat belt buckle anchor for the driver and front passenger seats could break apart in a crash.

GM spokesman Alan Adler said there have been no crashes or injuries reported.

GM said it discovered the problem during testing in September. Dealers will modify the seat belt buckles free of charge.

The recall is expected to begin in mid-January.

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Honda recalls SUVs

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Honda Motor Co. is recalling about 35,000 Passport sport utility vehicles to inspect brackets on the rear suspension that could detach and lead to a crash.

The recall announced Friday involves Passports from the 1998-2002 model years and is limited to 21 states and the District of Columbia where road salt is used during the winter.

Honda says the front bracket of the rear suspension lower trailing links could corrode and the bracket could break off from the frame. Honda spokesman Chris Naughton said the government received 33 complaints from owners, but no injuries were reported.

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